‘Upaja Mahot Hudhakanthak Suwaran’ : Genuine Celebration

The mood was one of genuine celebration, when numerous fans and admirers of Dr Bhupen Hazarika flocked to the Rabindra Bhawan auditorium well ahead of the scheduled start to be treated to a fabulous evening of music and dance, organised by the city-based prominent socio-cultural association Luitparia Sanskritik Gosthi, on September 1. The colourful function, titled ‘Upaja Mahot Hudhakanthak Suwaran’ practically kick-started a month-long festivities in Assam and the rest of the country, marking the 90th birth anniversary of the legendary artist, falling on September 8.

A view of performers during 'Upaja Mahot Hudhakanthak Suwaran'

Now in its ninth year, Luitparia Sanskritik Gosthi took things up a notch with the musical show ‘Upaja Mahot Hudhakanthak Suwaran’, which has certainly lived up to the expectations and interest it had generated among aficionados and admirers of Dr Hazarika.

The programme was inaugurated by noted actor Dilip Kumar Hazarika, who ignited the traditional lamp at the portrait of Dr Bhupen Hazarika. The veteran actor, whose role as Piyali Barua in Dr Hazarika’s landmark Assamese movie ‘Maniram Dewan’ made him a household name in Assam and elsewhere, was quite effusive while speaking about his association with Dr Hazarika, at the same time, regaling his audience with various anecdotes from his chequered career, during a stirring keynote speech.

Dilip Kumar Hazarika lighting the traditional lamp at the portrait of Dr Bhupen Hazarika during 'Upaja Mahot Hudhakanthak Suwaran'

The cultural evening then kicked off with a scintillating display of dance by talented new-generation dancer Rodali Bora to the popular evergreen tune by Dr Hazarika – ‘Pratiddhani Hunu Moi, Pratiddhani Hunu..’, which was choreographed by Ranjit Gogoi and Sitarani Hazarika. Soon after, several children and young dancers scampered on stage to dance to a medley of Dr Hazarika’s everlasting compositions. Vivichaukjyoti Dutta, Rupak Gogoi, Ankurjyoti Das, Nirman Das, Priyanshu Kashyap, Bhargav, Sahil, Riki, Vivek Das, Bandeep, Hiya Deka, Debistha, Debangana, Indrakshi Barman, Ragini Bora, Dikhita Parashar, Niba, among others endeared themselves to the audiences with their dancing skills in songs like ‘Aakou jodi jabo lage Saraighatoloi..’, ‘Moi Lachite Koisu..’, etc. The kids have proved that his creations will never cease to exist. Soon after, the host of the evening, journalist Prashanta Mena stepped off the stage to reach out to the audience, while trying to elicit various comments and views on Dr Hazarika and Luitparia Sanskritik Gosthi. RP Sarma, the MP from Tezpur said that he would request the Chief Minister to speed up proceedings at the maestro’s memorial site. He also let everyone know that he has allocated Rs 10 lakh to set up a park in the name of Dr Bhupen Hazarika in Tezpur. Besides, he has also raised the issue of renaming the Tezpur Airport in Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s name with the union ministry. Other guests including former cultural minister Pranati Phukan, noted singer Surya Das, veteran director Hemen Das talked about their association with the legend and how it enriched their lives. Filmmaker Chandra Mudoi recalled the time when Dr Hazarika recorded a song for his film ‘Agnigarh’ at Kolkata. Noted singer Anju Devi, who had recorded songs with Dr Hazarika for popular films like ‘Bonjui’, ‘Banhansa’, ‘Angikar’, etc, recalled those times when she rendered memorable songs like ‘Nijake dekhi ajikali beleg bhab jage, dapon khonir Maijonik sapoon sapoon lage..’, ‘Bonjui bonot jhale dekha puwa jai..’, etc, with the legend. There were many others too in the audience whose lives Dr Hazarika may have touched at some point or the other.

Rodli Bora performing dueing 'Upaja Mahot Hudhakanthak Suwaran'

It was now the turn of Dr Hazarika’s youngest brother and prominent singer Samar Hazarika and his son Dawar to perform on stage. After Dawar sang ‘Hu hu dhumuha ahileu..’, Samar Hazarika presented the evergreen hit ‘Koto juwanor mrityu hol..’. Soon Dawor joined his father on stage in the song ‘Shillongere Monalisha Liengdoh..’. Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s landmark score in the Hindi movie ‘Gajagamini’ won mass audience and critical acclaim both in India and abroad. Two of its hits – ‘Gajagamini..’ and ‘Mere payal bole..’ rendered by Dr Hazarika in duet with Kabita Krishnamurthy came alive on stage with an engaging group dance performance choreographed by Akashjyoti and featuring dancers – Rodali, Snigdha, Harsha, Danisha, Prachi, Pragya and Geetu. It was now the turn of well-known violinists – Manoj Barua and Purabi Sarma to mesmerise the packed crowd with their lucid interpretations of three of Dr Hazarika’s songs.

The evening added further pleasure to the audiences when dancers – Harsha, Danisha and Rodali danced along Dr Hazarika’s ‘Bistirna parore..’ and its Hindi version – ‘Ganga behti hai kiyo..’, inspired by Paul Robeson’s ‘Ol’ man river..’. The next item, an experimental one choreographed by Akashjyoti Sarma, saw a medley of Dr Hazarika’s four popular songs from films, performed by dancers Debangana Bhargav, Paran Kamal, Snigdha, Bishal Gogoi, Manisha Mahendra, Rituraj Chakravorty, Kirti Kamal and Barnali Basumatary, to an appreciative audience.

Samar Hazarika and his son Dawar performing on stage

The evening’s last item, a musical performance by the band Bound Morphanes, featured renditions by Prandip Das on songs like ‘Atitor buranji likhake likhisil..’ and ‘Pratiddhani Hunu Moi..’.

The chief organisers – Rosy Bora and Jitumoni Bora and other members of Luitparia Sanskritik Gosthi deserves big praise and appreciation for organising such a show, held every year in honour of the legendary artist.

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